Crow’s Nest Harbour

Crow’s Nest Harbour landowners suing Stafford, Board of Supervisors


DEC 17, 2014

Lot owners’ efforts to make their land ripe for development recently collided with Stafford Board of Supervisors’ efforts to discourage development near protected land.


Now the issue has ended up in court.

Several lot owners in the now-defunct Crow’s Nest Harbour subdivision are suing Stafford and its Board of Supervisors.

The lot owners who are plaintiffs own about 260 parcels in the 346-lot subdivision. The subdivision, which was approved in 1973, now sits adjacent to the Crows Nest Natural Area Preserve.

Supervisor Paul Milde has said that it is the board’s goal to conserve the land adjacent to the preserve. The land is designated as park land in the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

Supervisors declined to extend public utilities to the lots in early September and canceled a scheduled public… Continue reading

Stafford supervisors cancel public hearing

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:00 am

In a surprise vote, the Stafford Board of Supervisors removed a public hearing regarding development near the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve from its Tuesday agenda.

 The vote came after a closed session during which supervisors again consulted with attorneys about the issue that may eventually end up in court.

The public hearing had to do with subdivision plats requiring lots in the Crow’s Nest Harbour subdivision being served by public water and sewer. The subdivision was approved in the 1970s but never developed. It is now adjacent to the 2,872-acre Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve.

Owners of a combined 260 lots in the 346-lot subdivision wanted supervisors to remove that public-utilities requirement after the public hearing.

Supervisors Meg Bohmke and Paul Milde cast the two votes against taking the public hearing off the agenda.

“I think we have… Continue reading

Lots near Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve remain divisive

Sunday, September 14, 2014 12:00 am

Developers looking to build on lots next to the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve are hoping the Stafford County Board of Supervisors will erase language they say restricts their options on the land.

 The board meets on Tuesday, and that meeting could determine whether the issue winds up in court.

Attorney Clark Leming represents lot owners in Crow’s Nest Harbour, which is adjacent to the 2,872-acre state natural area preserve.

Plats recorded in the 1970s require the subdivision to be served by public water and sewer. But the subdivision, which was approved in 1973, is now more than 2 miles east of the current public utilities service area.

The Board of Supervisors doesn’t want the lines extended to the subdivision and voted down the idea on Sept. 2, even though the lot owners would have covered the approximately… Continue reading

TDRs: An essential tool in managing growth

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:00 am

WHILE it may not be immediately obvious, signs of the economic recovery are becoming more apparent in Stafford County. New development is returning and is visible in many parts of the county. As those who experienced the rapid growth periods of the previous two decades, economic recovery invariably results in residential development.

The number of new residential permits issued in Stafford County this year has already surpassed every year’s since 2005. In the last year alone, the number of permits issued for new residential units in Stafford has risen 55 percent. In 2013, we are on track to issue more than double the number of permits issued in 2011. While these increases are coming off some lows in recent history, the trend is clear: Demand for residential growth is returning—rapidly.

 Just saying “no” to new residential development is not a solution.… Continue reading

Crows Nest Harbour TDRs: Needed progress

Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:00 am

VIENNA—On Aug. 28, the Planning Commission recommended approval of some amendments to the Transferable Development Rights Ordinance. Some recent comments on this newspaper’s blog contain, I submit, incomplete information or apparent assumptions that we think deserve a response. I respond as the attorney for the owners of 284 of the Crows Nest Harbour lots, whom I’ll call “these CNH owners” (identified below).

Comment: CNH lot owners will just sever their development rights under the TDR Ordinance and then just clear-cut Crows Nest Harbour.

Response: These CNH owners have already suggested—months ago, in public before the Planning Commission—a private agreement to contribute their lots to a public entity if they can ultimately obtain and use their TDR development rights elsewhere. A private agreement is the most flexible method to address unique CNH issues. Such an agreement would logically include a… Continue reading